Friday, October 12, 2007
After a long day of travel and a
fitful night of airplane sleep, we didn't wake up today till 12:30
p.m. Hey, that's not too bad. In Knoxville, it's just 6:30
a.m. Obviously, breakfast was over. Thank goodness there
was coffee in our room. Oddly, it came in a box marked
"Medicine." Fair enough, I guess. Unlike yesterday, today
was sunny, warm, and beautiful.
Festival Mall, Kempton Park, South Africa
Later in the afternoon, the
Emerald's folks dropped us off at nearby
shopping center, Festival Mall, where we did some initial provisioning
for the camping portion of our trip. We'll do more shopping once
we pick up our vehicle, but we did purchase a few essentials, including:
- Toiletries in over 3-ounce allotments.
- "Peaceful Sleep" insect repellent, recommended by our new South
African friend Leeza.
- A multi-tool and a pocketknife.
- Pepper spray.
An afternoon at the
mall, Kempton Park, South Africa
We had lunch at Delhi Delicious,
two "pepper steak oriental pies," at 8
rand each. The exchange rate is 8 rand per US$1, so a pretty good
deal at a buck apiece. They eat a lot of meat pies in South
Festival Mall is just like any shopping mall you'd go to in Oklahoma or
Tennessee, only with groceries. Most of our shopping we did at
the very busy Pick 'n Pay supermarket. When checking out, I
handed the cashier my credit card, and she asked me, "Plastic?" I
said yes, thinking, well, of course my credit card is plastic; what an
odd question. Then I realized she was asking me if I wanted to
purchase a plastic bag to put my goods in. In South Africa there
is a .21 rand charge per bag (3 cents). Must be an anti-littering
deal. In any event, we had to have bags. We couldn't very
well load up all our things in our pockets!
The pepper spray came from a sporting goods store, 99 rand, Smith &
Wesson, made in the USA! The multi-tool and pocketknife came in a
four-pack with a flashlight and a carabiner/compass, all for 70 rand
($10). What a deal! The multi-tool wasn't the greatest, but
it was a very nice knife.
Before leaving the mall, we had an early dinner at Steers, a fast-food
burger chain. We ordered two combo meals, and got a perfectly
decent burger and fries. I'm glad to report that southern Africa
does not suffer from the horrible-burger curse that plagues other
international destinations we have visited.
An unexpected sight in
Maurice from Emerald's collected
us from the mall at 5:15, 15 minutes
late because he'd gotten delayed at the airport. I was just glad
to see him. We'd been there three and half hours. I
haven't spent that much time at the mall since I was a teenager.
Back at the guest house, the receptionist called Kea Campers on our
behalf and confirmed that Kea would indeed be picking us up at 8:00
a.m. tomorrow to take us to their rental depot so we can get our 4x4
camper and head out into the wild of Botswana.
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